Moscow City Court put off hearing of criminal case of retired KGB General Oleg Kalugin

On Monday the Moscow City Court again failed to start hearing the criminal case of retired KGB General Oleg Kalugin charged with high treason by the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office.

In the course of the court hearing the defendant's lawyer Yevgeny Baru made a motion to suspend the case. He holds the view that the trial cannot begin without the defendant's presence. Citing Article 14 of the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights, the defence counsel pointed out that each citizen "has the right to directly participate in the case if a charge against him has been filed".

The state prosecutor from the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office asked the court to give him time for studying the motion and to make judgement on it. The prosecutor's opinion will be set forth at the June 13 meeting.

Earlier the trial of Oleg Kalugin's case was already postponed twice - on May 27 and June 4.

Retired KGB General Oleg Kalugin now lives in the USA. He refused to come to Lubyanka for the charge to be brought against him, as well as to the court.

The Moscow City Court planned to start hearing the case of Oleg Kalugin in absentia. The old RSFSR Code of Criminal Procedure which is in force till July 1, 2002 provides such a possibility.

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